Saturday, October 12, 2013

Den Of Lions (part 1)

It seemed like a good idea to Darius to appoint over the kingdom one hundred twenty satraps who would be in charge of the entire kingdom.  Over them would be three supervisors, one of whom was Daniel. – Daniel 6:1-2a  (NET)

With this, Daniel appears to have been provided with a tremendous responsibility for a member of the covenant people of the Creator God.  It is written that “These satraps were accountable to them,” meaning the three supervisors, “so that the king’s interests might not incur damage” (6:2b).  These words, as the Hebrew Scriptures, post-Resurrection, ask believers to view them through the lens of the Christ event, allow an observer to make a consideration of the role of Jesus.  That role was to see that His (God’s) interests, that being the salvation of a people and the restoration of His creation, might not incur damage.  Others had been sent into the world for this very purpose.  In fact, if one was inclined to press the analogy, it could be said that Jesus was essentially the third of three “supervisors” that had been appointed to this purpose, with the first being Adam, and the second being Israel. 

As one makes this analogous comparison between Daniel, doing so in association with the story of Daniel and the lion’s den, while taking the extremely wide, cosmic view entailed by connecting the two men together, it is possible to go on to think of the aforementioned one hundred twenty satraps (which is a technical term for an official in charge of a region of the empire) as the steady stream of patriarchs, judges, kings, and prophets that had been either chosen or raised up by the Creator God to be partially responsible for protecting that King’s interests from incurring damage. 

With regard to Daniel, one can go on to read that he “was distinguishing himself above the other supervisors and satraps, for he had an extraordinary spirit” (6:3).  Again, it is not difficult to transfer and make the application of these words to Jesus, recalling the event of His baptism, when “a voice came from heaven” saying “You are My one dear Son; in you I take great delight” (Mark 1:11).  To this utterance, Matthew would add that the Spirit of the Creator God descended upon Jesus and came upon Him (Matthew 3:16).  It could certainly be said that, owing to this descent of the Holy Spirit, Jesus possessed an extraordinary spirit that would enable Him to distinguish Himself above Adam and Israel and all of the prophets and holy men of the Creator that had come before Him---thus preserving the King’s interests. 

Of Daniel, it is said that “in fact, the king intended to appoint him over the entire kingdom” (6:3b).  This would be no less true of Jesus, as His God’s apparent intention was to appoint His Messiah, that being Jesus, over the entirety of the kingdom that He Himself was establishing on the earth, as He (Israel’s God) personally embodied the Messiah so as to act in history to inaugurate this kingdom. 

It seems clear that Daniel had great favor with the king, as did Jesus.  As a result, “the supervisors and satraps were trying to find some pretext against Daniel in connection with administrative matters” (6:4a).  On the local (not cosmic) level, because Daniel’s position of authority along with the will of the king is being challenged, it becomes possible to view these supervisors and satraps as the chief priests, elders, scribes, and rulers with whom Jesus, according to the Gospel accounts, almost incessantly finds himself in conflict.  Just as there was a movement against Daniel in the area of “administrative matters,” so too was there a movement against Jesus.  Here, without taking the time and space to go into specifics, one can call to mind the numerous attempts that were made to challenge Jesus and His teaching (in the common battle for honor), along with the questioning of His authority to do and say the things that He was doing and saying. 

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